A textbook can be the best book—especially if you’re learning Spanish.
Textbooks offer a lot of information jammed into a convenient package.
Get the right one, and it’ll really take your Spanish to the next level and beyond.
Sure, Spanish learning books rose to fame on the backs of conventional classroom education, but even if you’re going it alone, there’s a great book out there for you. And indeed, there are many types of books out there that’ll help you learn Spanish, regardless of your learning style.
Mixing and matching a few choice books is an excellent way to get a well-rounded education. Using the right combination of books can lead you to fluency or give you that extra nudge to go from advanced to fluent. And you and keep these on your shelves as reference materials to consult for the rest of your days.
But of all the marvelous books in the land, perhaps none is more famous than the textbook. In or out of a classroom, they’re a great choice to improve your Spanish and nudge you closer toward full fluency. All you have to do is pick the perfect textbook for you and watch your Spanish skills climb higher than the spires of la Sagrada Família.
Why Use a Spanish Textbook?
Textbooks offer detailed information to help you understand the Spanish language in greater depth. You can pick up a lot through other activities, but at some point you’ll want to know the rules that drive the Spanish language—good grammar and fluent speech depend on it!
Additionally, textbooks offer a structured approach to education. If you compile sources on your own, you might not learn things in the most effective order, and this can waste your valuable time and energy. Textbooks, on the other hand, are designed and organized for effective, efficient learning.
If that’s not enough for you, textbooks are also a great resource for students of any proficiency level. Whether you’re just starting out or trying to make the leap from advanced to fluent, Spanish textbooks can hook you up.
9 Terrific Textbooks to Improve Your Spanish at Any Level
Here’s a little bonus for you: If you want something with as much of a learning punch as a textbook but with the addition of engaging visuals, check out FluentU. FluentU takes real-world videos—like music videos, movie trailers, news and inspiring talks—and turns them into personalized language learning lessons.
FluentU is about so much more than videos: You also get access to interactive flashcards and vocab lists, annotated subtitles and personalized quizzes that evolve as you learn. It’s an entertaining method to immerse yourself in Spanish the way native speakers really use it, while actively building your vocabulary.
“Ultimate Spanish Beginner-Intermediate” is designed to teach you Spanish from scratch—no previous experience required. But if you do have some previous experience, that’s cool, too—just refer to the topics you need to work on.
With 40 lessons that include dialogues, grammar rules, usage rules, pronunciation information, cultural lessons and more, you’ll have all you need to get to an intermediate level of proficiency. “Ultimate Spanish Beginner-Intermediate” uses not only standard words and phrases, but also idiomatic expressions to give you a more complete view of the language.
Quizzes interspersed throughout will help you check your progress, while the glossary will provide a great reference for you to refer back to when you’re unsure of something.
This option advertises itself as five books in one, and it certainly does have a lot to offer—over 600 pages of textbook content like lessons on spelling, verb tenses and more interspersed with helpful worksheets.
By combining the sorts of lessons you’d see in a textbook with the sorts of exercises you’d get in a workbook, you’ll get to learn the material and immediately practice it—this will help reinforce what you’ve learned and ensure you know how to use the rules in context.
The glossary is also a helpful resource, with both a Spanish-English glossary and an English-Spanish glossary. There are also verb tables you can refer back to whenever you have trouble conjugating.
This book and several others in the Practice Makes Perfect series are available on VitalSource, a site that specializes in e-textbooks. You can find more books there for all levels of Spanish learners, and access all your purchases on the Bookshelf app, which works for Kindle, iPad and other devices.
“The Everything Learning Spanish Book” will guide you through basic concepts like pronunciation, basic grammar rules and common vocabulary and phrases.
The textbook offers 20 chapters. Each chapter presents simple lessons along with examples to help you see the rules you’ve learned in action.
There’s also a helpful glossary (English-to-Spanish and Spanish-to-English) of vocabulary to refer back to when you don’t know a word.
“Conversación y repaso: Intermediate Spanish” is a textbook that’s often used in traditional college classrooms.
The bad news is that, because it’s a college textbook, it’s really pricey when bought new—over $250. The good news is, though, that because a lot of college students were required to purchase it and are looking to recoup their losses, you can get used copies for under $20.
And “Conversación y repaso: Intermediate Spanish” certainly is valuable. It combines cultural lessons on topics like religion, economy and 20th century revolutionary movements with grammar rules and vocabulary so that you simultaneously improve your Spanish skills and your understanding of culture. Exercises will help you practice what you’ve learned, providing you with an all-around great education.
“Conversación y repaso” even comes with a CD to help you improve your listening skills.
Don’t worry, “Intermediate Spanish for Dummies” doesn’t actually assume you’re a dummy.
What it does do is put intermediate-level rules in terms that are easy to understand. Each chapter is organized thematically with useful topics like “ten most common writing mistakes in Spanish” and “expressing yourself with subjunctive feeling.”
While this book focuses on helping you learn intermediate-level content, it’s also great for anyone who studied Spanish in the past since there’s a brief refresher on basic Spanish to get you back on track.
“Intermediate Spanish for Dummies” aims to expand your vocabulary, learn new conjugations and hone your writing skills. Plus, activities in the book help you practice as you learn.
“Conversemos! Intermediate Conversation” is another pricey college textbook. Luckily, you can rent it or buy it used to drastically reduce the cost without any reduction in learning.
This textbook’s main aim is to help improve your conversation skills which is a standard focus of many conventional intermediate-level courses. You’ll learn valuable conversational tools like giving commands, sharing preferences and persuading others. A variety of activities will help you practice these skills as you move along.
Plus, if you don’t have anyone to talk to in Spanish, never fear! The accompanying CD will help you with the spoken language.
“Advanced Spanish Step-by-Step” focuses on helping you develop more vocabulary, master complex grammar rules and understand advanced conjugations. All in all, this book aims to make you more confident with speaking and understanding the Spanish language.
With 15 progressive steps and 150 exercises, “Advanced Spanish Step-by-Step” provides you with a clearly-structured learning plan. Exercises, grammar lessons and reading excerpts are interspersed to keep you on your toes.
“Advanced Spanish Grammar” is designed for any advanced student who wants to improve his or her grammar, whether they’re learning entirely on their own or want to supplement additional coursework.
This textbook offers advanced grammar rules, difficult conjugations and over 1,000 vocabulary words. The ¡Atención! (Attention!) sections are particularly useful since these highlight some of the most problematic issues with the Spanish language.
Plus, “Advanced Spanish Grammar” is interactive, so you’ll have an opportunity to practice your new skills with helpful activities.
“Palabra por Palabra” focuses on improving your authentic Spanish by teaching you useful idioms and common phrases.
The focus is on vocabulary acquisition. The book is organized thematically so that you can easily select topics of interest. For instance, some sections include descriptions of people, work, the media, health, etc.
If you have all the grammar rules down, this is a good way to learn the vocabulary you need to nudge you closer to full fluency.
So if you want to bring your Spanish skills to the next level, look no further than your friendly favorite textbook. It has your back.
If you liked this post, something tells me that you'll love FluentU, the best way to learn Spanish with real-world videos.